Apr 242015
 

It was an evening in March. The Cape had been burning, with mountain fires raging across the Peninsula. We were on the terrace of a mansion in Kommetjie watching the sun set over the Atlantic.  Craft beer was in hand while crayfish samoosas and roasted pork belly made up the nibbles. South African rap performer Jack Parow was giving  a sunset performance. That was the wrap party for the SABC 2 Afrikaans TV lifestyle show Pasella’s programme on Kommetjie, which was broadcast in late March. The programme featured my wood surfboards. You can watch the full clip below, if you’re interested.

  • Pasella, features Burnett Wood Surfboards (starts at 17 minutes, 10 seconds)

There were two funny asides to the Pasella experience. The first was when I agreed to do the programme and said confidently that speaking in Afrikaans would be no problem. Of course once I was in front of the camera it was another matter and as a result I’m the only person that speaks English in the programme. Eventually the poor producer just gave up and asked me to speak in English.

The programme was aired on a Friday night and by Monday morning I’d forgotten about it. First stop of the morning was the local hardware store. The cashier looked up at me and her face lit up as she exclaimed: “You’re the man from the television.” It was the same at the other hardware store I visited on the same day. It was a cool talking point. Anyway, enough waffling.

Mar 272015
 
IMG_6125Our April courses are nearly full, but there is still place for courses in May, June, July and the rest of the year so get in touch if you’re keen on learning the craft of wood surfboard building and making your very own beautiful wood surfboard. We also make stunning custom orders if you want a wood surfboard but don’t want to build it yourself.
Find out more information by visiting the courses page of this website, or write to burnett.patrick@gmail.com Dates for the courses are below, but we can also accommodate people outside of these times, if necessary.
  • May
– 18-23 May, build your own hollow wood surfboard or SUP course
  • June
– 22-27 June, six day or three day build your own hollow wood surfboard
  • July
– 24-29 July, six day or three day build your own hollow wood surfboard

 

Mar 162015
 
GraemeHempBoard

Graeme with his twin keel fish glassed in hemp and bio-resin.

Here’s a board that breaks new ground in the realm of sustainable surfboard construction.

Made by Graeme on a Burnett Wood Surfboard course, an estimated 85% of this hollow wood surfboard is made out of locally-grown wood (meaning lower transport emissions because of reduced transport emissions).

It’s glassed with natural hemp cloth from the awesome folk at The Hemporium right here in Cape Town, and glassed with Entropy Super Sap epoxy, a resin that uses a bio-based additive rather than a petroleum-based additive.

There is no such thing as a “100% green surfboard”, but using materials like those above we can significantly reduce the carbon emissions and thus environmental impact of our surf lifestyle.

One study has shown, for example, that a hollow wood surfboard has less than half the carbon emissions of a foam equivalent, and that it is without considering the added benefit of glassing with a natural material and bio-resin.

Huge credit to Graeme for being so keen to break new ground. He was sold on the idea of glassing in hemp and using the Entropy product, which had only just become available in South Africa when we glassed this board last year.

All our hollow wood boards are now being glassed and finished with Entropy resin. The use of hemp is available on request.

 

 

 

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Glassing with hemp fabric.

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Graeme building his hollow wood surfboard.

Feb 122015
 

Nearly two years ago, Peter and Jennifer arrived at my front door to look at a hollow wooden fish they were interested in buying. We had a good chat about wood boards, life and the like. A few days later Jennifer phoned and said Peter would like to come around with his crew and film the wood boards I was making. That’s how Peter, Jennifer, Adam and Jules came to spend two days in a garage in Fish Hoek, which at the time was where I made my hollow wood surfboards.

I’ve often thought about those days of filming because of the moment in time they captured. Shortly afterwards I moved to a workshop in Kommetjie, the business grew, things got crazy and the garage became an unused storage place that nobody ever entered. In the last few weeks I’ve moved my workshop from Kommetjie to Scarborough, but I’m fixing up my garage work space so that I can spend some days working at home, picking up the kids, cooking meals and doing all those kind of homely things that one doesn’t do when spending all your time in a workshop obsessed with making wood surfboards. So it’s sort of as if I’ve done something of a circle. The film the crew made can be watched below. It was shown at the 2014 Wavescapes Surf Film Festival held in Cape Town. So much thanks to everyone who was involved and hope to hook up again soon.




Jan 182015
 

2015 has gotten off to a rocking start with a run of exceptional summer swells lighting up the Cape Peninsula surf spots. After a hectic end to the year in the wood surfboard building workshop, I took it slow for the first week of January, but have stepped up a gear in the last few days. The year is starting with some Saturday course building – Ant and Gero got started on Saturday and will be building their boards on Saturday’s up to the end of February. And tomorrow, Ian and Amanta will be building their boards on a six-day course.

2015 is an exciting year for Burnett Wood Surfboards. Apart from our usual hollow wood surfboards and custom wood surfboard builds, I will, for the first time be offering Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) course options. More details to follow. I will also be introducing a range of other course offerings. In the meantime, below are some pictures from the workshop taken at the end of last year and beginning of this year.

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6′.8″ single fin.

9′.8″ longboard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5′.7″ twin-keel custom fish.

 

Sep 212014
 
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Picture: Dougal Paterson, www.dougalpaterson.com

All our hollow wood surfboards are now being glassed with Entropy Super Sap bioresin. This is a first for wood surfboards in South Africa and increases the already sound environmental credentials of the wood boards we produce.

Traditional epoxies mostly use petroleum based materials, but Entropy claims to use “biobased renewable materials sourced as co-products or from waste streams of other industrial processes, such as wood pulp and bio-fuels production”. They claim a 50% minimum reduction in CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions and say that the “green chemistry” eliminates harmful by-products and reduces power and water consumption. Continue reading »

Aug 192014
 

What an awesome week of hollow wood surfboard building.

Our August course ran from 11-17 August and four boards were built: two 9′.7″ longboards and two 6′.4″ eggs. The guys participating built amazing boards and each one is a functional work of art in its own right. It was such a stoke to work with everyone and see the boards coming together. What really struck me about this course was the way everyone helped each other. It was a great vibe and I’d like to thank Craig, Norman, Peter and Matthew for making the week a successful one.

Here are some pictures from the week. If you want to join up and build your own board, have a look at our courses page or drop me an email on burnett.patrick@gmail.com

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planing

Jul 062014
 

Picture: Dougal Paterson, www.dougalpaterson.com

Up until now, if you wanted to build one of our hollow wood surfboards you needed to sign up for a week-long course. For many people who would like the experience of building their own board, it’s hard to take a full week.

The six-day course is still available. But we have also added a three-day hollow wood surfboard building course where all it takes is a Friday, Saturday and Sunday for you to experience building your own wood surfboard.

We’ll still retain the core of our week-long course offering and you’ll experience the satisfaction of working with wood in crafting your own beautiful, functional wave craft.

But instead of starting at the beginning, part of your board will already be built for you when you begin, enabling you to come in and work on the most crucial and rewarding parts.

The first three-day course will run 19-21 September 2014. To book your spot, contact Patrick through burnett.patrick@gmail.com or 073 232 3043 to sign up or for more information.

What you get:

– Your own beautiful, surfable wood surfboard, handmade by yourself

– Access to all tools and provision of materials needed to make your surfboard

– Information on wood surfboards, history, design dynamics, environmental credentials

– Tuition and assistance

– Glassing and finishing of the board

– Fin boxes or handmade wood fins

– Tea/Coffee throughout the day

– Lunch on the days that you build

– Experience of working with wood and craft in a stunning rural environment

– The chance to meet other like-minded folk also building their own boards.

To see our picture gallery of people who have built their own boards, click here. For more information, click here.

Contact Patrick through burnett.patrick@gmail.com or 073 232 3043 to sign up or for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 272014
 
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Some of the amazing Triton tools now powering the making of my hollow wood surfboards.

Triton Tools power up Burnett Wood Surfboards

This is a story about a man who asked a man about another man. The asked man phoned a third man that he knew, who just happened to be with the man that the first man was asking about. The two men spoke. They arranged to meet and the man drove in his car to go and see the man that he had been asking about.

Okay, the point I’m trying to make is that it might not have happened. Without a network of people who knew other people, with different timing and a whole range of other factors, if there had been a break in the chain above, perhaps things wouldn’t have come together like they did. I’m glad that they did.

After that initial meeting, the man went away. A while later, another man came along and had a look at my workshop and what I’m doing making hollow wood surfboards. He asked a few questions, went away and then a few weeks later another man arrived in a car packed with boxes, which he handed over to me. Continue reading »

Apr 222014
 

1. 5′.8″ classic-styled hollow wood twin-fin fish

abalonefish20130910_172129This is a just-finished 5′.8″ classic-styled hollow wood twin-fin fish in Western Red Cedar and Obeche with real abalone inlays and custom-made glass-on fins. It’s a celebration of a surfboard shape that has endured for nearly 50 years. Handcrafted and taking inspiration from the fish shapes of the early 1970s, the special feature of this board are the abalone inserts along the bottom that separate the two different types of wood, the one light and the other dark in colour. The abalone lines have a mother-of-pearl luminosity to them that is accentuated by the rich colours of the wood. This is a one-of-a-kind board, a piece of functional art. This board was made as a piece of wall art, but it is ready to be surfed. Despite being shorter than today’s typical shortboards, the fish paddles beautifully and catches waves easily. It gives a loose, fast, floaty ride that feels completely different to a modern surfboard.  And despite it’s stability, it’s got X-factor, loads of it.                                                           

PRICE: R8,500, excluding shipping. Contact burnett.patrick@gmail.com for more  information

 

2. 9′.7″ single fin hollow wood longboard (sorry this one has been SOLD, but contact me if you would like one made)

topnose_deckThis is a 9′.7″ single fin hollow wood longboard made out of Western Red Cedar with Obeche accent strips. Handcrafted, this board draws inspiration from classic longboards from a bygone era, with a rolled bottom, pinched rails and hips through to a square tail.

The special features of this board are the use of premium Western Red Cedar, a tree native to the Pacific North West in North America with a long history of use in boat building by indigenous people in that part of the world. The wood for this board was hand-selected to show off the finest grain the species has to offer – it is a rich, dark brown colour, alternating from a fine, straight grain to a swirling grain from tail to nose. The board also has an interesting tail block lay-up, alternating triangles of light and dark wood to create a stylish finish.

This board will make a stunning feature on any wall, but it is also very surfable. Spend enough time learning its moods and you’ll be rewarded with some lengthy nose rides.

PRICE: R9,500, excluding shipping. Contact burnett.patrick@gmail.com for more information

tailrail-rockerbottomnose_full length